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Anderson Tops Isner In Delray Beach SFs; Matosevic Reaches First Final

Delray Beach, U.S.A.

Matosevic© CameraSportMarinko Matosevic advanced to his first ATP World Tour final on Saturday.

Seventh seed Kevin Anderson defeated World No. 11 John Isner 7-5, 7-6(4) to advance to the final of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships Saturday evening.

In a battle of big servers, it was Anderson who prevailed, firing 16 aces and converting the only break of serve late in the first set. He won 80 per cent of his service points to end the top-seeded Isner’s debut at the tournament in one hour and 36 minutes. With the win, Anderson evened his FedEx ATP Head 2 Head record against the American to a 3-3 mark. "Today I thought I served incredibly better than my other matches. I knew I had to," Anderson said. "I think maybe just playing against somebody who serves and volleys like John forced me to pick up my serving and I felt I matched him in that category."

Anderson is into his third final, having lifted his first title on home soil in Johannesburg last year (d. Devvarman). In the final, the 25 year old will square off against Marinko Matosevic for the first time. "He’s had some tough ones this week against some really good guys," said Anderson.

"He's played some big servers, so I'm definitely going to have to be on my game tomorrow... [But] I'm feeling good. I'm just excited, that’s why you play. Each week you don't always get the opportunity to go all the way through, so I’m just really excited to get that opportunity this week."

The 173rd-ranked qualifier continued his run through the draw, edging Dudi Sela 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(7) to reach his first ATP World Tour final. "I’m very happy but I’m also very tired," said Matosevic.

"I was just fighting off cramps (in hamstrings). I was fighting hard and never giving up... It was such a roller coaster out there. It was just up and down. I’ll just try to recover the best I can."

Matosevic led Sela 5-2 in the final set, and had two match points serving at 5-3, 40/15. But Sela rallied to break Matosevic, and then held to level the set. Two holds sent the match into a deciding tie-break, where the drama intensified. Matosevic jumped out to a 3-0 lead, only to see it evaporate. He reached match point for the third time at 6-5, but tossed in his 12th double fault. Finally, after squandering a fourth match at 7-6, Matosevic closed out the semi-final on his fifth opportunity to claim victory in two hours and 54 minutes.

The Australian is bidding to become the second qualifier to win an ATP World Tour tournament this season. Jarkko Nieminen qualified and triumphed at the Apia International Sydney in January. Prior to this week, Matosevic had not won a tour-level match this season, and was just 3-15 overall.

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